Digital Advertising. Unless you live under a rock, it’s highly unlikely that you are unaware of those two little words, but are you fully aware of how much the success of your advertising and the size of your audience can depend on them, or that when it comes to the influence and impact of our good friend DA, this medium is still growing and we have only seen the tip of the iceberg so far?
There was a time when such a concept would have seemed crazy, completely sci-fi, and maybe even impossible. And if like me – you entered your profession, or started your business some years ago, if anyone had told you tales of a fantastical, futuristic medium such as DA, you might even have branded them delusional and shown them the door.
But it did and it has, and if you not a young hotshot who was born into this digital era knowing nothing of an advertising and marketing industry before it, then you may still be coming to grasps
with just how big the stakes are, or might even be a little lost as to which way to take your DA in order to fully utilise this growing outlet.
What exactly are we dealing with here?
First of all, it is important to clarify that simply having a digital presence is not half the game won. No pats on the backs here for just being on people’s computer screens, mobile phones or other electronic devices. Being present is not enough, and in some cases, is actually pointless because the Internet is vast and far-reaching and you are no longer competing with others on your doorstep, or even your country; you are basically competing with the world! So if you don’t do it right, you are not actually doing it at all
We see many clients who seek our services for DA come in all fired up for banner ads and email newsletters, believing that a nice little ad that pops up on screens or information that goes to an audience via an email or website is the extent of DA. They are always a little surprised to discover how many forms of DA there actually are, and how subtle, sleek and clever some of them are.
To list and analyse every type would take several, separate blogs! And if you have a good ad and marketing agency they will guide you and advise you on where and how you should be digitally. But, at a glance, there are three that we believe it is pertinent to be aware of as they are only going to become stronger and more dominant in the future:
Native advertising: In a nutshell, this is paid advertising disguised as content, which is very good at fooling audiences, thus influencing them without being pushy or obvious, as research has shown that ‘almost half of consumers have no idea what native advertising is’.
Native advertising is the perceived added value of DA in that the audience is given engaging information – be it tips, news, recommendations or entertainment – that is of interest to them via articles, infographics or videos, and appears to be free of any sales whiff. These are cleverly embedded/merged to appear as part of the content by matching its form and function, but are identified through the use of terms such as ‘sponsored by’, ‘featured’, ‘in partnership with’, ‘suggested’, ‘promoted by’, ‘paid post’ and the like.
Adsense: In a nutshell, this is good old Google, giving you the opportunity to hone in on its market share through ads that appear alongside its search engine results.
Everyone knows (or should know) that Google holds first place in the world of search engines, and with a significantly bigger share than its contemporaries – 1,600,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors (eBizMBA Rank: September 1, 2016).
This means that if you use their Adsense service, you have the potential to access a huge amount of consumers via the pay-per-click method through targeted text, video or image advertisements. Success depends on having the right keywords, craft ad text and so forth to ensure that you appear alongside the right keywords or queries as searched by Internet users.
Mobile video advertising: In a nutshell, this is targeting Smartphone/tablet users with video content, and capitalising on the fact that their attention is already present.
The influence of video cannot be underestimated – whether it is silly video of people falling over and animals being cute, or business/informative related content. Not convinced? YouTube (which happens to now be owned by Google), gets a ridiculously enormous amount of searches per day without being a traditional search engine, with research showing that the majority of internet users watch at least one online video a day through various sites; and are exposed to many more just from surfing and using social media. And with the shift from laptops and desktops to Smartphones and tablets for internet browsing purposes, being online is a far more ‘personal’ activity now that travels with the audience rather than being ‘fixed’. In fact, it is predicted that video will claim almost 70% of mobile traffic by 2018 (Cisco Systems), so we are only just seeing the full potential of video advertising.
Unlike more traditional forms of advertising, such as billboards or magazines, when you are on someone’s screen (however big or small the screen), you have a captive audience who is not ‘just passing by’ or ‘flicking through’. This already sets you in good stead to have their attention, and if you then use the right DA in the right places, your success rate increases exponentially.
Use Digital Advertising well and it can be your best marketing friend! And if in doubt on how to access this minefield, consult the experts; we know more than just how to send an email newsletter!